The first Kurdistan focused IBBC London Business Forum took place on 20 January in partnership with the Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce, sponsored by Genel Energy and UB Group.
The forum concentred on the development of the Higher Education and Healthcare industry by the private, in which the Kurdistani delegation heard from UK universities and business representatives on the potentials of such partnerships while illustrating similar projects adopted by other countries as examples to learn from. How the business community can work with academic institutions to establish entrepreneurial centres to encourage and support the setting up of small and medium size businesses to flourish were among the subjects discussed.
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, IBBC Executive Chairman and UK Trade Envoy to Iraq, opened the conference by highlighting despite the current challenges the Kurdistan Region and Iraq is facing there are a vast amount of opportunities for British businesses to explore.
Dara Jalil Khayat, President of the Kurdistan Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and founding member of IBBC, encouraged Kurdistani and British businesses to seek the time to network and build relationships that would provide them with opportunity to learn from eachother to make sound investment decisions in their respective markets. He also emphasised, the forum is a follow-up of the Erbil Business Conference held in Kurdistan on 1 - 2 March 2015 with the IBBC as part of an initiative to host annual forums in Erbil and London together.
The first day of the forum was attended by the KRG Ministers of Education, Dr Pshtiwan Sadiq, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr Yousif Goran, the High Representative to the UK, Karwan Jamal Tahir and the British Consul General to Kurdistan, Angus McKee, David Pardoe, Deputy Director of the British Council in Iraq, with over thirty Kurdistani businessmen.
On the second day, the delegation travelled to the University of Wolverhampton’s Business Solutions Centre, where they met with several businesses located in the region to discuss new commercial bridges that could be established between the Kurdistani and West Midlands business communities.